10th Circ. Says Utah Courts Can't Hear Ex-Ute Employee's Suit

By Andrew Westney (January 6, 2022, 8:07 PM EST) -- The Tenth Circuit ruled Thursday that Utah state courts can't tackle a breach of contract suit brought against the Ute Indian Tribe by a former employee, saying the tribe never consented to state court jurisdiction over those claims.

The Ute tribe had challenged a Utah federal judge's denial of a preliminary injunction to block Lynn D. Becker, a former manager in the tribe's energy and minerals department, from pursuing state court claims that the tribe breached his contract by failing to pay him monthly compensation after terminating his employment.

In a published opinion Thursday overturning the lower court, a majority of...

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